RED CHINA: Spear & Shield

The foremost novelist of Communist China is a Yangtze Valley scholar's son who calls himself Mao Tun. The name sounds exactly like the Chinese words for spear and shield—a combination which, according to a literary tradition 2,500 years old, signifies contradiction. Last week, as Red China's "creative workers" met in the shining new Great Hall of the People for Peking's Third National Congress of Writers and Artists, Mao Tun, 64, capped a long career as a man of contradiction.

In his 20s, when he was already established as a novelist in the new...

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